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[SPLIT] Vortex Shakers


Wren
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My collection is primarily Reaper paints. Do you suggest the model you got or is there a different one?

 

I'm honestly not qualified to recommend one model over another one. I can say that the mixer I now have is amazing for Reaper paints, as well as all my other dropper bottle paints. Mixing them is effortless. It has a touch setting which... Ah! I see Wren just posted about it as I was writing about the touch setting. Lemme double down on her point. It's a wonderful feature. You just pick a color, pop the bottle into the base and it shakes. 

 

You can get the same vortex mixer with different attachments on the top and some with no attachments. The small cup one that's on mine works very well. Other people have used ones with a 3" disk attachment on the top that should have the rubber nubs that help grip the bottles you press against it. The cup holds Reaper bottles perfectly but it's a little tricky to mix larger bottles with it. The larger disk looks like it could handle big or small bottles but it may not secure them the way the cup does. I may buy the disk later to compare the two. I'll post a pic of both below so you can clearly see the difference.

 

 

vortex-genie-2_1_1.png

74082360_300.jpg

 

 

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Vortex Genie is a solid product.  I have one from the 90s that I use to mix my paints.

 

The VWR mixers I have used were good, though they were newer models so I can't say they'll last 20 years.

 

I've only used one Barnstead/Thermolyne and it wasn't very impressive.

 

I haven't used the Corning model, but at my previous job we didn't have much luck with some of their other benchtop equipment.  They didn't last, so I would hesitate to recommend Corning's other products.

 

At any rate, if your Vortex Genie is missing its feet, you can order a full set new for like $11 from Scientific Industries.  Everything else gets expensive quickly so unless you can sneak them on the company credit card, used is the way to go for multi-tube accessories.

 

Oh, as for the cup, they are called "universal" for a reason.  Vials, test tubes, and other lab supplies are generally made to the same sets of diameters.  When Vallejo first started using dropper bottles in 1992 they sourced pharma, which means their bottles were instantly the right size for lab equipment. Everyone else seems to be using similar size bottles for their dropper bottle lines, so universal.

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I suspect Alibaba will ship to Asia.  ::P:  Just search for "Vortex Mixer" and something should pop up.  That said, I don't have any personal experience with asian brands so I can't recommend anything.

 

There are at least two companies that resell scientific equipment on ebay as their entire business.  You might go ahead and see if you have anyone doing the same in your area.

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For a long while, I looked at getting my own vortex mixer. But unless I could find one within Canada, shipping costs were outrageous.

 

My own solution for a while was a Conair back massager. I removed the massage pad and screwed in a clamp to hold the bottles. It's only last week, when the small bolt holding my clamp finally snapped off, that I got the opportunity to just put the pads back on and confirm that they are close enough to put a bottle between them vigorously shake them while I hold it.

 

conair-thp1r-professional-handheld-full-

 

I'll try to remember to get a picture of me using it instead of a Google image search.

 

It's a bit more of a hassle than the vortex as it does require two hands, and more cumbersome with that big handle (remember that it's intended to be able to reach a user's backside), but it's a much cheaper alternative, no risk of chemical/biological/radioactive residue from previous lab owners, *and* it doubles as a personal massager. This is the sort of item you can find in flea markets or thrift shops.

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okay, my used Vortex mixer came in today and I am fiddling around with it....

 

I guess I expected it to vibrate a bit harder????

(I have it turned all the way up....)

 

How long do people hold the bottles on for a good mixing?

 

Anyway cleaned it up, and now Imma gonna paint it, as the paint is a bit dinged up....

 

pics in a bit....

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I have a pot of Coat D' Arms Flesh Wash whose components separates really bad. Usually takes around 15 seconds on my mixer before it's thoroughly mixed. I've always had a problem with that flesh wash drying glossy before. Not anymore since I got a vortex mixer. So I've been using 15s for all my other paints, Reaper & Scale75.

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Power tools can work well if you're on a budget or simply prefer a DIY approach.  I have zip-tied paint bottles containing agitators to the blade of my jigsaw to shake them up quickly - if you attach the zip tie around the bottle's neck with just the right amount of tightness, the bottle won't fall out, but you will still be able to wiggle it out afterwards without ruining the zip tie, so you're ready to do the next bottle.  But they could be attached in any number of improvised ways.  Eventually the saw teeth with deteriorate the zip tie of course, but you can probably shake several dozen bottles with each one.

 

Sawzall blades swap out really quick and easy - I was considering building a metal holder for several bottles at once with an end that would be filed down to the same shape as the back end of a normal sawzall blade, to speed up the process.  I have built a long concrete vibration debubbling wand this way and it worked perfectly even submerged almost 2 feet deep in dense refractory cement, which is mixed up much thicker and less watery than regular concrete, and the saw performed like a champ under that load, so it is certainly overkill for shaking little paint bottles, but should work.  I never built a bottle shaker this way because I was worried about bottles throwing it off-balance and it starting to flap around side-to-side, smashing into stuff in my workshop instead of just pushing back and forth, and compensating for that would have made it into a bigger project than I felt like taking on considering how much time I actually spend shaking paint... 

 

A handheld orbital sander, or any other vibration/oscillation based tool that one might be likely to have at home already ought to work too, if buying the 'real deal' is out of reach for financial, geographic, or mysterious reasons.  Just gotta be a little clever and figure out some way to secure the bottles to the tool so they don't fly off and get lost.

 

It won't save your wrists though; if anything it is even more violent than shaking bottles by hand.  But it saves time, and one could always clamp the tool down somehow in a vise or something while it is running.

 

Anyhow, just a couple of alternative solutions - hopefully someone finds it helpful.

 

Kang

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I guess I expected it to vibrate a bit harder????

 

Hmmm, mine is pretty violent. Put a cup with a little it of water on top of it and see what happens. That's what I did when I first got mine and was surprised how much agitation there is.

 

Power tools can work well if you're on a budget or simply prefer a DIY approach

 

I actually used to attach them to a power drill before I got my mixer LOL

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A drill?  I am imagining all the paint smooshed against one side of the bottle, not able to move at all much less getting mixed... like it is taking a ride on the gravitron at the town fair, or like when you swing a bucket of water tied to a rope around in a circle...  Did that work?  Was it maybe a hammer-drill?  How were the paints secured to it?

 

Now you've got me imagining a small scotch yoke type bottle shaker engine with a shaft that chucks up into a drill for power.  And drawing the blueprints in my head.  I think I smell a winter project! 

 

Kang

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